Pharmacology of epilepsy. The efficient therapy of epilepsy is a major clinical and socio-economic problem of the contemporary world. Epidemiological data show that more than 50 million people suffer from this disease, and that ca. 30% of patients do not respond to pharmacological treatment. Despite remarkable progress in basic sciences, no antiepileptogenic drugs have been designed so far and the treatment of epilepsy remains exclusively symptomatic. When compared with classic drugs, the recently introduced antiepileptics generally show better pharmacokinetic characteristics, produce fewer undesirable effects and do not interact with other drugs; on the other hand, however, they are not more efficient in reducing seizures. Therefore the search for new drugs, based on recent achievements in molecular biology and electrophysiology and aimed at improving the outcome of epilepsy treatment, appears fully justified. The present paper has been designed to make a short presentation of the state-of-the art knowledge of the neurochemical mechanisms of traditional and new antiepileptic drugs, putting a special emphasis on GABA-ergic and glutamatergic systems.